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Meet Susie Cortez’s Fine Art in Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susie Cortez.

Susie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today? For as long as I could remember, all I wanted to be was an artist. I think it picked up strength when I came to this country as a little girl, my drawings would keep me company and would not judge me in my appearance or my poor pronunciation of the language. These very primitive drawings would adorn letters or cards that I would send back to El Salvador and everyone that received them would love them. My drawings gave me the confidence at an early age that I could be, no, that I was an artist. My biggest supporters are my parents. They encouraged me to follow my dreams and if I wanted to be an artist, then I should practice my craft, and so I did. Throughout my school years all I did was draw and doodle. Dreaming about creating drawings and buildings. I was going to become an architect! Because of my lack of confidence in the business world, someone led me away from Architecture and I now know that it was the best thing ever for me. I instead enrolled at Art Center College of Design, where I learned about Fine Art, but the college was not teaching these basics that I needed. I was frustrated because I was taking drawing classes and I realized I was not as good as I thought I was or been told.

Then by pure coincidence I came across an art studio in Encino. I saw that they taught Fine Art and I could teach children while I learned these basics. I then went to interview with the founder of the school and after a few days, I was teaching at this school. Larry Gluck’s Mission: Renaissance has been my home for over 20 years. Larry became my mentor over this time and one of the most influential people in my life. He was not only a master at his craft, but was the embodiment a caring, loving and nurturing human being. I worked hard to develop my skills and learned everything I could from Larry, not only for my own advancement but for the students I was to teach.

As an artist, I was able to create illusions of reality that I never thought possible. I was confident in any medium and I feel like I could grow more and more now. I left to Italy in April of 2014 for a few months. I travelled to 25 different cities and painted over 30 works in pastel, charcoal, watercolor and oils. I had an exhibition in 2015 in Los Angeles and sold over 3/4 of all the work! I found my style in Italy, the culture there and the art I was able to appreciate up close was incredible. I learned from Michelangelo how to chase perfection and communicate through my art. I became a more well-rounded artist and person while in Italy. Another stepping stone in my career has been attending the incredible city of Miami for Art Basel, the artists I have met there and the art that I see inspires me and keeps me aware of what I need to improve on. Art is not a competition amongst other artists. I feel we all have a voice, a story to tell and we can all tell it in our own unique way. Right now is the best time of my life as an artist. I feel I can communicate clearly and move the hearts of viewers. The more people I reach the more I believe I can contribute to the beauty in our lives.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you? As a little girl, trying to get acclimated to a new country was tough. I truly believe that art has helped me get through awkwardness I felt as an outsider in a new country. As a woman, art has given me strength, a voice and a stage to freely express myself. You always hear that being an artist is tough and it’s hard to make a living being one or that you have to be dead in order to become famous. I don’t agree with that at all. Although I’ve had barriers in my career, I have had successes that I am grateful for. But just like in any industry, I have to prove myself as an artist. Just recently, I was having a talk with other colleagues that Art is still thought of as a male dominated field. If I have to make one barrier that I would like to banish for myself and other women it would be that. I want the field of art to be flooded by highly skilled female artists. Like I said before, we are all individuals and we all create differently, there is plenty of room for all artists and I honestly believe the more we have in this society, the better place it will be.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Susie Cortez Fine Art – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others. I work in various mediums from oils, watercolor, pastels, charcoal, mixed media, pen and ink, and acrylics. Recently, I have created several acrylic paintings of athletes, artists and other people that have inspired me and the community. Depending on the medium, I can create different effects in order to communicate my work. I recently completely a piece of R&B artist, Usher with broken records. One of the pieces I am most proud of is a painting that was commissioned by a church in Dallas, it is a 5’x7’ oil painting on linen and it hangs in the church for parishioners to enjoy. Being able to use each medium to communicate differently is what separates me from other students. I can create a very realistic soft oil portrait, a loose colorful landscape with watercolors or a dynamic colorful portrait in acrylics and a knife.

So, what’s next? Any big plans? Short term- In mid-March I will be traveling to Washington DC to paint at the National Gallery for a week. This is a great honor for me as an artist, woman and daughter of immigrants. This symbolizes for me the American Dream, something that my parents provided for me by coming to this country, working hard and giving me more than they ever had. I plan on making this another stepping stone to reaching more people with my works. To create more beauty in our society. Long term- Planning more exhibitions in Miami and Los Angeles. Possibly working out the possibility to show in El Salvador as well. I feel like I was giving a voice through the art I can create and I want to use it and have it reach as far as it can.

I see my industry growing more towards a technical side. There are times in history when the skills of an artist are valued more than message, sometimes it’s the other way around. I believe we are approaching a time in history where artists are beginning to have the technical tools to drastically improve their art and hence introduce their message much more clearly to the masses. A culture is run by artists, whether it’s a movie, a fashion trend or music. Artists are always at the forefront of the change in culture. I am excited to produce more works and exchange idea with other artists and be able to influence the future thru my art.

Contact Info:

  • Website: susiecortez.com
  • Phone: 5626861554
  • Email: sooztheartist@gmail.com
  • Instagram: sooztheartist
  • Facebook: sooztheartist
  • Twitter: sooztheartist


Image Credit:

@sooztheartist

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